La Nina Ag Impacts This Winter?

Expected weather patterns nationwide this winter check with the patterns you normally see in La Nina weather systems.  Predicted mild and dry winter weather conditions along the Southern tier of the country could cause adverse impacts for some ag producers.  Farmers and ranchers along the Northern tier of the US are expected to see La Nina style wet weather impacts throughout this winter. Rod Bain and USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey

Ag Conservation Easement Program Consolidation Final Rule

A Farm Bill consolidation of conservation easement programs into one reached a milestone with the publishing of the final rule.  Jessica Groves of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service explains the creation of the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program through the 2014 Farm Bill, and changes leading up to adoption of the final rule for A.C.E.P.

Precision Ag Practices And Farm Profitability

How is the adoption of precision agriculture tech on the farm connected to the overall profitability of the operation? USDA economist David Schimmelpfennig discusses a recent study looking at how precision ag practices were adopted on various farms, and how that contributed to farm profitability.

The Farm Bill Question Is What Is The Question?

The Agriculture Secretary says any new Farm Bill process must begin with stakeholders asking what the total need is for the whole of food and agriculture.

New USDA streamlined loan program is available for Ag Producers-Agriculture Department’s EZ Guaranteed Loans are designed to expand both access to and lending sources for credit for beginning and small-scale farmers. (Rod Bain and Secretary Tom Vilsack)

Cattle On Feed Report Offers A Surprise Or Two

Cattle On Feed Report By The Numbers

The latest USDA Cattle on Feed report offers perhaps some surprises compared to what the industry was expecting.  USDA livestock analyst Shayle Shagam runs down the results of the latest Cattle on Feed report for the period ending October First.  Possible reasons why placement of cattle in feedlots in September was lower than some industry analysts expected.

USDA Announces Streamlined Guaranteed Loans and Additional Lender Category for Small-Scale Operators

Options Help More Beginning, Small & Urban Producers Gain Access to Credit

October 21, 2016, Washington, DC-The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of a streamlined version of USDA guaranteed loans, which are tailored for smaller scale farms and urban producers. The program, called EZ Guarantee Loans, uses a simplified application process to help beginning, small, underserved and family farmers and ranchers apply for loans of up to $100,000 from USDA-approved lenders to purchase farmland or finance agricultural operations.

USDA today also unveiled a new category of lenders that will join traditional lenders, such as banks and credit unions, in offering USDA EZ Guarantee Loans. Microlenders, which include Community Development Financial Institutions and Rural Rehabilitation Corporations, will be able to offer their customers up to $50,000 of EZ Guaranteed Loans, helping to reach urban areas and underserved producers. Banks, credit unions and other traditional USDA-approved lenders, can offer customers up to $100,000 to help with agricultural operation costs.

EZ Guarantee Loans offer low-interest rates and terms up to seven years for financing operating expenses and 40 years for financing the purchase of farm real estate. USDA-approved lenders can issue these loans with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) guaranteeing the loan up to 95 percent.

USDA is providing a 90-day period for the public to review and comment on program improvements. To review program details, visit, reference RIN 0560-AI34 and follow the instructions to submit comments.

More than half of all FSA loans go to new farmers and more than a quarter to underserved borrowers. FSA also offers loans of up to $5,000 to young farmers and ranchers though the Youth Loan Program. Loans are made to eligible youth to finance agricultural projects, with almost 9,000 young people now participating. More information about the available types of FSA farm loans can be found at or by contacting your local FSA office. To find your nearest office location, visit

Export Demand Could Mean Slightly Higher Corn Prices & Wheat Price Upturn

Expanding exports could keep prices for new crop corn from falling into the two dollar range.

Is there any light at the end of the low price tunnel for wheat growers?  Despite big supplies, U.S. wheat growers may see price upturn. Gary Crawford and Seth Meyer.

Latest On Resuming U.S. Beef Exports To China

What has happened from a progress standpoint since China last month announced it would again accept U.S. beef exports.  On the U.S.-China Beef Agreement-USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator Phil Karsting says China’s growing middle class and demand for beef, coupled with World Organization of Animal Health science-based standards, is behind that nation’s recent announcement to soon accept U.S. beef exports again.

Access Concerns for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

Issues connected to land tenure and beginning farmers and ranchers are among the primary topics at USDA’s series of nationwide fall forums.   Farm Service Agency Administrator Val Dolcini discusses some challenges beginning farmers and ranchers face in entry to careers in agriculture.